On Friday, Governor Dave Heineman delivered the details of his proposed tax plan at a press conference in Lincoln. At the Center for Rural Affairs, we believe that Nebraska should be cautious about dramatic shifts in tax policy and we are concerned that this proposal will hinder the state's ability to invest in building a better future for all Nebraskans.
Our review of the proposed tax plan leads us to one conclusion, that this is a tax shift, not a tax cut. Middle-income Nebraskans and family farmers and ranchers had better watch their wallets. They bear a greater burden of state sales taxes and this plan would increase that burden.
Moreover, this proposal would raise taxes on hospitals, education, small businesses and crucial community institutions. This is not progress; we can do better than this. Shifting the state's tax burden to middle-income families, students and seniors while under-investing in our schools, hospitals and small businesses as well as our public safety and health is not the common-sense approach that Nebraskans want and need.
With the Nebraska economy returning to solid footing, it is time to make investments that strengthen the future of our state and it is also time to renew our commitment to tax policies that preserve the high quality of living that Nebraskans work so hard to achieve.